Writing Prompts

POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Writing Prompts

By Nandy Ekle

 

I have written about writing prompts before, but I’m going to write a new blog here about them because sometimes they can really give us that jump start we need. I once ran across a prompt that was to write a short flash fiction story backwards and to start with the words, “Finally he (she) heaved a sigh of relief.” I guess that was exactly what I needed because I quickly wrote a story less than 1,000 words. It had a beginning (which was really the end), a middle, and an end (yeah, the beginning). And I had a ball writing it. (You can find it on flahesinthedark.com – search for author Nandy Ekle and it will pop right up for you to enjoy *shamless plug*)

Another prompt I stumbled on was to write a story using exactly 50 words. It had to contain people dressed formally and a fatal action had to happen. My words poured out and my fingers flew and I had a 50 word (exactly) story that soon became an idea for a great novel. Well, we’ll talk about finishing a novel some day in the future.

However, there are a few prompt sites and generators that really do the opposite. These are the ones that are like slot machines. You give each wheel a spin and they all land on topics that could not possibly go together or make any sense whatsoever. I try to stay away from those.

There is one other prompt that I enjoy and it is sitting in a time waste with a pad of paper and a pen. This would be like a doctor’s office, or some other type of dead time space. One time I found myself waiting for an appointment in an office full of other people just sitting around staring at the wall. I decided to describe the room. I started with the gray walls and described them down to the bumps in the sheet rock. I went into great detail with the carpet, the furniture, and finally some of the people sitting in the chairs. I could see all the emotion in their faces: the desperation, the fear, the frustration, fatigue, anger and hope. Before my name was called I had a discovered some characters, a conflict, and a story started.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

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One thought on “Writing Prompts

  1. When I began my writing journey, I joined a writing group and after gathering my courage shared a short story after using these words Fire, Clock & Certainty from a prompt. The reaction to the last line spurred me onward and as they say the rest is history. I love prompts as they refresh, revitalize or engage my muse. Two of my published works came from prompts so I’m a firm believer in them. I even pose a prompt every Saturday on y writing groups website calendar! http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com

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